Belgian king, Dutch prince lead mourning for Swiss bus-crash victims

Belgium's King Albert II, second right, and Belgium's Queen Paola, right, file by coffins during a memorial service at the Soeverein Arena in Lommel, Belgium on Wednesday, March 21, 2012. Mourners and family members attended a memorial service to honor the victims of a bus crash in the Swiss Alps which killed 22 children and six adults . (AP Photo/Benoit Doppagne, Pool) Benoit Doppagne

Belgium's King Albert II, second right, and Belgium's Queen Paola, right, file by coffins during a memorial service at the Soeverein Arena in Lommel, Belgium, on March 21, 2012.
AP

(CBS/AP) LOMMEL, Belgium - King Albert II of Belgium and Dutch Crown Prince Willem Alexander led thousands of mourners Wednesday in remembering the 28 victims of last week's bus crash in a Swiss tunnel.

Twenty-two children and six adults died in the crash and the other 24 on the bus were injured. Three girls who still remain in the hospital are out of immediate danger, hospital authorities reported Tuesday.

Pictures: Memorial service in Belgium

Soldiers formed a procession that carried 15 coffins into the 5,000-capacity Soeverein Arena for a three-hour ceremony. The brown casket contained the remains of a teacher, the 14 white ones held the bodies of children, all from one of the two schools in northern Belgium that shared a bus for a traditional "snow class" vacation in Switzerland.

A separate service will be held Thursday for the victims from the other school, in the town of Heverlee.

Since six of the victims were Dutch nationals, Dutch Crown Prince Willem Alexander, Crown Princess Maxima and Prime Minister Mark Rutte joined Belgium's King Albert II, Queen Paola and Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo in the front row.

Families pinned red roses into the center of a giant heart of yellow roses as the famed Scala choir sang U2's "With or Without You."

  • CBS News Staff

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